The best thing about my job is that I now get paid for doing what I have always done – reading. All my life people have been handing me books saying “You have to read this.” And mostly I have ‘cause I love to read. Then I got into publishing and people started “handing me books” by mail and these days by email. How cool is that!
Last week a woman by the name of Celeste Bailey sent me an email telling me about her books on genetics: Call Me Gene. She even sent me a copy to read.
I have had special interest in genetics since the day I tried explaining hereditary traits to a very precocious seven year old.
She listened to my explanation very carefully. You could almost see the wheels turning in that little brain. After a moment she said. “Well, I think I have more of my Daddy’s genes than my Mommy's”. She was quiet for a moment and then added “But I’m not bald.”
Right then and there I decided that I should probably stick to reading and not try to be a teacher!
Fortunately, there are people in this world who are teachers. They seem to have a gift for making complex information simple and interesting! Celeste Bailey and her sister Lucy Eskeland are two of them.
Call Me Gene is quite literally fun! Yes, it is a kid’s book, aimed at 7th and 8th graders but I actually leaned a couple of things I didn’t know.
The graphics are great – simple, colorful and informative. By the time I was done, I had refreshed my knowledge about basic genetics, cell structure, cell reproduction, Mendel's heredity experiments, and dominant and recessive genes. The discussion on mutant genes and cloning was well written. You may or may not agree with their opinion about human cloning, but I do applaud them for at least addressing it.
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in genetics from the precocious seven year to her grandparents; and of course, her teachers.
Here’s the official stuff:
Call Me Gene-Third Edition is a science book describing the genetic code and the scientific advances in biotechnology. The book is appropriate for late elementary/middle-school students, either in the classroom or home school. The book is written in a narrative and easy-to-read approach. There are numerous colorful illustrations throughout the book.